It looks as though the carrot crisis of last year has been remedied! You may remember.......probably not....that last year I wrote about the carrot shortage during the Summer when the grandkids are visiting.......a dilemma of a grand scale!! Well......this year the seeds decided to cooperate and sprouted with a real come-back attitude. We'll all be picking and enjoying freshly dug carrots through out the Summer.....maybe into the Fall. The Norwegian boys will be so happy!!! Pretty quiet around here today.......still cold and cloudy. I had a fire going most of the day. I worked some more on converting slides and got two DVDs edited and ready to go. I also just got through making some fresh strawberry jam.....I've been licking my fingers and it tastes so good.......but, not nearly as delicious as it tastes on a snowy Sunday in January! Spaghetti for dinner tonight....one of Jim's favorites. Then some NBA playoff games before heading upstairs.
One more "catch up' post and I'll be back to "real time"........well, as real as I'm able to function! These photos were taken on Saturday when we took a journey to Iowa Hill.....one of the last existing towns in California without electricity or phone lines. It's a little backwoods burg about 20 miles from Foresthill, but once Iowa Hill was a grand town during the gold rush days. There were hotels, stores, even a bowling ally and the founder of Macy's was a prominent citizen. Now it pretty much consists of a little grocery store, post office and a beautiful little solar powered school. It's still full of wonderful off- the- grid type characters and partially melted ice cream bars from the store's generator cooled freezer. To get to Iowa Hill you first need to drive down a one lane road to the North Fork of the American River and then back up the other side. These pics were taken while we stopped for a picnic at the river .........we messed around a bit looking for gold in the gravel, but, alas, no luck! We got home about 4;00 and soon enjoyed a great dinner and Jim FINALLY opened his birthday presents.......he got several old Rock-A-Billy records and he was swooning! Thanks to all of you for thinking of him and the great gifts you sent.....he loved each and every one.
Wow...is it already Monday night?? I meant to post this blog Saturday morning! This is a photo of two wonderful friends from my early years of High School until the present. They came by on Friday night and stayed over until Saturday. We has such a wonderful time .......we laughed until I thought I would pass out! Molly and Ross were here also....even they were in hysterics! What a joy it is to stay in touch with friends who have meant so much and to know we still enjoy each other. The reason I haven't been writing the last few days ........well, one reason.....is that I've been scanning old slides on to my computer for my Mom . I'm also making movies on DVD with them.....they're turning out great and I must say I've enjoyed seeing all the old photos. Now it's too late for me to be awake and I'd better get to bed.......morning comes real early around here.......I just wanted to let you all know I'm okay......not a victim of crime or illness!
It's that time of year again....time to justify the name of Lupine Hill. These lupine are really just the beginning of the bloom......another few days of warm weather and the amount of flowers will double. It's truly a sight to behold and one that I anticipate with great joy each year. I only wish I had a "wide screen" camera that could better capture the splendor. Today's weather will not be coaxing any more blooms out ....it's cold and windy....I actually have a pot of soup on the stove. Quite a change from the last few days. It's supposed to get colder for a few more days and then gradually warm up again. Tomorrow two of my friends from high school......Stan Stinnet and Ray Sodini are coming up for dinner and to spend the night. I'm pretty sure Ross, Molly and Seth will be here also........a big pot of shrimp curry for dinner ....homemade fresh strawberry pie for dessert.......hilarious conversation throughout the evening.......I can't wait!!!!
A first from the garden.......Jim brought in these beautiful radishes which we've never grown before ........they too pretty to eat! I'd stopped buying radishes from the store quite a while ago because it seemed they were always bitter or kind of woody...or both. These home-grown radishes on the other hand are as sweet as candy and oh, so tender. I love these early season veggies ......they taste unbelievably flavorful.....even their colors, be it deep green or a rich red, seem to have a flavor.......fresh, fresh, fresh! Molly called this afternoon...always a pleasure to talk with her.....she's so happy with her life right now. She said she and Ross are going down to have lunch with Jim tomorrow since they weren't able go down yesterday on his birthday. I know Jim will be so happy and has wanted to introduce Molly to his staff for a long time. Molly also confirmed that she and Ross will be up this weekend for the "official B-Day party"! I've been working outside most of the day......it's so gorgeous, but I guess we're in for a big temperature drop starting tomorrow.....it'll be worth it if we get a little more rain.
Jim and I are officially the same age as of last midnight.......proud owners of the numbers five and nine......I preceded Jim by a couple of months, but I've been scouting the territory and it doesn't seem too bad!! Actually, as far as celebrations go this will be a mini one.......Jim had to work today and so the BIG dinner will probably be on Saturday when at least Molly, Ross and Seth will join us. Jim still gets a "whatever -you -want- birthday- dinner" tonight and has chosen grilled steak, homemade potato salad and asparagus.........the least I can do for all Jim does for me and all those around me. Have a wonderful year,love.......I'm so happy I'll be a part of it.
Even though it's only the middle of April we're having extremely warm weather for any time of year. It's not too often that it makes it much above the upper eighties up here, but here it is approaching that already. I hope this isn't an indicator of what this Summer will be like.........I mean, 85 degrees is pretty perfect,but I'm concerned what July and August will be. Right now, however, I can't stay inside.......there's a soft breeze blowing , long shadows to stand in and bright green all around. Seth is up here today working on the never ending thesis of his.....maybe he's making progress....he only has until the end of May to get it finished. It's always great to have him around ......sounds like he's staying for dinner and a little NBA playoff action. Speaking of dinner.......grilled wings, fresh corn, salad and garlic bread......a Summer dinner for a Summer day!
In about 2 months I hope to making a cherry pie......and I hope the cherries are from this tree! We haven't had a good cherry "harvest" for a couple of years, but hope springs eternal......this will be the year!!! It's been a real quiet Sunday......just Jim and I hanging out and as loud as we're known to be....it still seems quiet! I weeded the flower garden for a while this morning, Jim planted the new tomato plants and now he sits at his computer, me at mine. I guess the big news is that I have on shorts and a sleeveless shirt........top that!!!!
I headed down to Roseville this morning to buy the paint needed for the ongoing remodel , plus a few more things for the yard......also meeting my Mom for a quick salad at La Bou.......so good.......but I digress......when I got home with the car loaded with potting mix and all sorts of stuff...the driveway was blocked! Apparently some asphalt guys had stopped by and Jim was paying them to re asphalt the driveway......it looks great ! I took this photo because of what rarity it is to see our driveway so "open"......no cars! Hopefully, there'll be cars back up here by night......mine is parked at the other end of the driveway, still fully loaded.....and that end of the driveway is , as you might know, a goodly ways from the house! I don't know how many thieves are interested in scoring potting mix , flowers and paint........but , you can't be too careful!!
Oh, it's such a beautiful day...sunny and so much warmer than it's been. Both Jim and I were itching to dig in the garden and get some summery plants going. I drove down to Auburn and joined in the fray at the local nursery,Eisley's.......a great locally owned nursery. They have a great assortment of plants which they grow in large hothouses on site.......plus they have a popcorn machine, all-you-can-eat fresh popcorn! Of course, everyone in the county was there today also......this area is a very garden rich area!
Since I got home Jim has been struggling to install a new faucet in one of the upstairs bathrooms and it's being about as difficult as a faucet can get! Nothing is fitting right, small parts are disappearing in cracks of the cabinets.....and I'm certainly not a huge help since I'm symmetrically challenged! Things somehow look straight to me.....while to others they appear slightly off! I feel badly that Jim's rare day off is turning in to such a frustrating one.......he's a sweetheart for taking another bathroom remodel on......I hope he knows I appreciate it , as will all our overnight guests! Anyhow......photos to follow when the remodel is done.
Friday night....hmmmmm...must be Chinese food I smell waiting in the kitchen.....I better go check on the rice!
My shy little Bleeding Heart is in bloom! It gives it's all for about a month and then disappears until next Spring. Everywhere I've lived since I was about eighteen I've had a Bleeding Heart in my garden......they seem to thrive in all climates and make me proud every year. The beautiful little purple plant in the photo is one of my Columbines......not the variety that grow wild around here.....but a domestic type that are so lovely. It ,too, will only be around for a few months....as soon as it gets hot it'll kind of fade away until next year. I grew lots of them in Idaho where they bloomed all Summer. Today I headed up to town...Foresthill....and spent some time at the library...where I scored three new books.......I'm so excited!!! A stop at Worton's were I traded in my store stamps.......one for every $2 you spend there......for 20 cards of stamps I get $10 worth of gas. I had eighty cards so that's $40 worth of gas. I think I'll save them until this summer when Jill and the boys will be here.........I use a lot of gas during that month long visit! Then I headed down to Auburn to drop off the recycling stuff......good for about 20 bucks. When I got home I had messages from both Tess and Molly. I called Tess back and exciting news as she'll be home for a few days around Mother's Day in May.....I can't wait to see her....seems like it's been a long time. When I hung up I got a call from Ross with great news.......he got a great job in Sacramento......one he's well qualified for as an audio engineer.....great hours, great pay.....even benefits! Also, he's just gotten three guitar students for a little extra money in the evenings. And.........very exciting.......he's the new guitar player for the Bathtub Gins....a local bluegrass band ......Jim and I will really enjoy going to hear them. Finally, Molly called back and she's also very excited about Ross' "Good Luck Day"! Sounds like she's going to meet me in Roseville tomorrow.....I'm sure Mom will join us for a fun day. Now I'm headed into the kitchen to make a ham, asparagus and tomato quiche......hopefully, I can use up all the leftover Easter ham! Jim's done with the workshop he had to put on at work so I'm sure he'll come home with a bigger appetite than he's had the last couple of days.
Well, maybe the title is a slight exaggeration...but trimming the dreaded Pampas grass is a spring ritual that is easy to put off! I was inspired today by my guilt yesterday at watching Ross try to retrieve Easter eggs in the mass of razor sharp Pampas leaves........so sorry, Ross...hope your arms have stopped stinging! Mine are in the tingling stage right now, but the deed is done......the debris is in the wheelbarrow and the new green shoots will soon appear....and the cycle begins again! We had a great time yesterday......no photos...so sorry! I was having too much fun, but I do wish I'd gathered everyone together for a group photo......such a stunning group we are! Having everyone, or almost everyone, together means the world to me ......I adore our big , extended, kind and funny family........you know who you are and you're the best!! Thanks for being a part of my life.
First of all let me say...it stopped raining!! I can't say it's warm, but it is not wet! Hopefully tomorrow will be warm and dry. Today I got a little bit done in the yard.......Jim mowed the lawn for me....and I attempted to dry clothes on the clothesline, but it wasn't warm enough for that so I had to finish them up in the dryer. Since about noon I've been cooking...making sure everybody's favorite treats are represented.......this photo shows some of my afternoon's endeavors! Molly and Ross are due up here soon......a big salad with sourdough bread for dinner. I guess everyone else will be here about 1:00 tomorrow with the big egg hunt to follow shortly after!
If you look closely at this photo you may be able to see the rain poring down.........it can't seem to stop and though we need the rain.......this is getting really annoying!! I want to work in the yard, but I guess it's just as well I can't......I know there could still be frost.......still, I'd love to dig around in the dirt with the sun shining down! I started the Easter cooking this afternoon.......the first batch of fudge...I licked the bowl and it promises to be a yummy batch. I also made the buttermilk biscuits for Sunday's breakfast.....those I put in the freezer so I can pull them out and bake them that morning. One of the best parts of Holiday mornings around here are our traditional breakfasts.......cheese-eggs, smokie sausages, buttermilk biscuits and a compote of raspberries and pineapple........ummmm, my mouth is watering! I think Molly and Ross will be up tomorrow afternoon to help with the cookie making........with Molly in charge with the Rice Krispie Treats!
It's so cold ......too cold for April! But.......every cloud has a silver lining.......tonight's lining is a pot of homemade clam chowder! It smells so good and I have a fresh loaf of crusty sourdough to go with it. It's a really easy, great tasting chowder recipe with cream of celery soup as it's base.........souper easy! Sorry about the pun...I couldn't help myself! Also...sorry about the looks of the pot in above photo........my cooking pots are well used! I met Mom again today and before we hit Costco we snuck in an In-n-Out.......sooooo good and we didn't want to go in Costco hungry......they say you tend to buy more than you need when you grocery shop hungry! I'm so glad I wasn't hungry because I bought enough as it was!......mostly food for Sunday's party......including a triple layer chocolate cake and a huge ham. I came home to very cold house and quickly built a fire........now I have a warm house with a pot of delicious soup on the stove........my idea of heaven!
What difference a day makes! Yesterday it was warm...in the 60's ......and sunny up here. Right now it's in the 40's and raining. I just made a fire even though the inside temperature has been about 60 all day........I kept thinking, it's bound to warm up. Didn't happen and I don't feel right curling up under a quilt until at least 7:00 in the evening.............I do have my standards!! I really missed having the sun today.......couldn't get real energized about anything. I went upstairs and sewed for a while.......I REALLY couldn't get inspired about that!! I think that may be a problem this year , I can't really figure out what I want to make or what I think will sell. It's gotten so I don't enjoy the creative process that much any more...I just want to see the dollar signs....I know, I know ...unforgivable! The up side of that is that the house is really spic and span.......when in doubt..clean something!!! We're having a tried and true family favorite for dinner....sprout sandwiches, which I planned yesterday when it was warm. Had I planned today no doubt I would have had soup......or maybe even a roast. I guess I'll bake the last of last year's garden squash.....that should add a touch of hardiness to tonight's meal!
This weekend I broke out the Easter decorations........many as old as Jill........almost 40 years old, forgive me Jilly......... Easter Sunday for our family has always been a celebration of Spring.....and just a reason to gather together for a fun day. I love Easter....a no pressure holiday. I adore Easter decorations and every year I have to force myself not to buy any new ones, but the colors used are so delicious, soft and sweet. We'll have a house full this year........thirteen or fourteen by my count. The weather's supposed to be beautiful so the deck will be the place to be! I met Mom today for a little while.....then headed to the feed store for chicken feed, dog food and cat food.........$70 later......unbelievable! I stopped at the grocery store for a few things for dinner. I think Seth is coming up for dinner and to watch the NCAA Finals game........fried chicken, garlic mashed potatoes and fresh spinach salad. I think we're rooting for Michigan State........Jerry's Alma Mater!
Seth dug up this little wild plum tree from beside Todd Valley Rd. and gave it to me on Mother's Day......at least 10 years ago. I wanted one because they look so beautiful when they're in bloom along the road sides......perhaps it's karma....I should have let it stay with others of it's kind in that little gulch along Todd Valley....because it never once has produced a bloom of any kind. I had such hopes when Seth......along with help from brother-in-law Jack planted it about 100 ft. from my kitchen window.......although it's grown and had leaves every year.....not one bloom! Low and behold a week ago I was wandering around down there and at first I couldn't believe it, but upon closer inspection........a bloom!!!! And now there are several dozen! I'm so happy for me....so happy for this little tree.....maybe it will live a long and prosperous life with bees buzzing around it's branches and admiring looks from my kitchen window.
Jim put up the new lights I got yesterday and I think they look so cool! The color and style suit this house so well........I'm very excited about them! I spent the morning out working with the flowers. I got the front porch reorganized after the winter chaos.......also cleaned up the back deck. Very gratifying to see so many of the plants I tried to baby through the winter are actually making their way back......some already blooming. This seemed like it was a particularly cold winter so I'm very pleasantly surprised to see most of them doing so well. Molly called a little while ago and sounds like she and Ross are on their way up.......to watch the "Final Four"........college basketball national tournament........eat some barbecued ribs, maybe a little cribbage and I'm sure we'll squeeze in some mountain music !
Look what I scored in Roseville today!!! Thanks to a very generous gift certificate Tess and Ryan gave us for Xmas we'll be eating , in my mind, the best Chinese food around! I love P.F.Changs because they're heavy on the veggies, which are always so fresh and crisp, and light on the heavy meat. Also, their sauces are delectable.....wonderful blends of subtle flavors! Maybe I should try to get a job there.............naaaa! I met Mom down there and we went to Lowes where I bought new light fixtures for the living room......photos to follow soon......and a new fixture for one of the upstairs bathrooms , which goes with the new faucet we recently bought. Maybe I should get a job!!!!!...........naaaaa! Seth is coming up to night to watch the King's game with us.....I guess I'll share some dinner with him too. I'm headed into the kitchen now to make some of my fabled from scratch brownies for dessert.......don't you just love chocolate with Chinese !
Well, last night was the big night.......Vlade's jersey retirement. It was such a fun night.......a good time was had by all. I was ,of course, emotional during the ceremony....but the game itself was awesome. It went right down to the literal last second.......of course the opposing team won......but it was a hard fought battle by the Kings. I love sitting up in the "cheap seats" ....it's loud and rowdy, cowbells and horns. We dined before the game on hot dogs......and they've never tasted better....... good company , a good game and Vlade! I'm so lucky to have access to nights like that! I drove down to Auburn today to drop off all the stuff I cleaned out of the garage. It seemed the Salvation Army store was pleased with the loot.......probably not as pleased as I was to get rid of all of it! I also picked up a few things for Easter baskets , a couple groceries and a big bag of dog biscuits for my buddy Jenny. Guess I'll start dinner now....chicken of course! Another King's game on TV tonight.......hopin' to see the same effort as last night.